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Malaysian Protesters Demonstrate Against Proposed New Electoral Map


Vendor sells headband during a protest against the government's plan to redraw electoral boundaries in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Wednesday, March 28, 2018.

Hundreds of demonstrators gathered in Kuala Lumpur Wednesday to protest a controversial electoral plan they say would benefit embattled Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak's ruling coalition ahead of an upcoming general election.

The protesters, clad in the yellow-color shirts that signify Malaysia's opposition forces, marched to the gates of Parliament before they were stopped by anti-riot police.

Opposition leaders say the plan will change electoral boundaries that will push opposition-leaning voters into larger constituencies, creating larger districts packed with more distinct ethnic majorities.

Prime Minister Najib will present the plan before lawmakers on Wednesday, where it is expected to easily pass in the 222-seat parliament.

Najib has been plagued by a multi-billion dollar financial scandal involving state-owned sovereign wealth fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB). Despite a strong challenge from Mahathir Mohamad, Malaysia's 92-year-old former prime minister and Najib's one-time political mentor, Najib is expected to lead the ruling Barisan Nasional (National Front) coalition to yet another victory later this year. The BN has ruled Malaysia since gaining independence from Britain in 1957.

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